Here in the waiting room the woman to my left is humming. Her ample lap is decked with sprawl from her giant handbag: a datebook, a notebook, cell phone, a huge key-ring with lots of ornaments on it, a bottle of water, a sheaf of papers; the woman is camping out. The song she’s humming is repetitive, haunting. A cool moon in a dark pond. I want to ask her what the song is and maybe she’ll say, “Oh, just something I’m composing...”
Or, “It’s a lullaby my father used to sing to me. He died in Vietnam.”
Or, “It’s just an old Beatles song.”
But I don’t ask her so I’ll never know. A nurse calls her name and she packs up her stuff and leaves the room.
I turn the tune over in my mind until they call my name and then it is gone, erased by the sudden wind in my head.